How Big Data is Changing Healthcare | mumble in the jungle

How Big Data is Changing Healthcare


Technology has made leaps and bounds over the past decade, touching just about all aspects of our life. One area that advancements in technology have proven to be extremely beneficial is the healthcare industry. Today’s students who are enrolled in computer science health care programs at schools such as the University of Illinois at Chicago are getting a first-hand look at how big data collection and access is transforming the healthcare industry.

The Landscape Has Changed

Even students who were enrolled in health care informatics just 10 years ago will have had a totally different experience than today’s students. Technology has literally advanced that fast. While many industries may be slow to embrace the advancements, the healthcare industry welcomes them with open arms.

Today, all kinds of data and information are collected on a regular basis so it can be analyzed. This data can help to improve people’s quality of life it can help in finding cures for diseases, prevent deaths, and even predict the chance of an epidemic. It also helps to connect the various health institutes and hospitals not just in a region, state, or country, but the world in general. A masters in health care informatics opens the door to all kinds of exciting opportunities in terms of research, data collection, and analyzing the information.

A Cost-Savings Measure

Another area where big data has also had an impact is in budgeting and cost-savings. This reliance on big data has resulted in less overheads thanks to the predictions and solutions it offers. This in turn means larger profits. While this doesn’t seem quite so noble, it is a significant factor. In fact a report that was published by McKinsey & Company stated that using big data could result in a savings of half a trillion dollars in the healthcare industry. That is a rather massive amount of savings and one to be taken very seriously.

Patients are Winning Too

It’s not just the hospitals and health care providers that are benefiting from the big data, it’s patients too. It has been shown that big data collection and analyzing has resulted in better patient care. The information is being used to identify issues before they happen, information is shared easier and quicker regarding a patient’s medical history and a faster more streamlined approach can be taken.

Just think about it, it may take one doctor several days, even weeks, to pour over medical history and other case files to find the information they are after. Imagine how fast this same task could be performed by tapping into a computer data system?

Types of Data

In general health care data can be divided into four main categories, which are: clinical data, pharmaceutical research data, cost and activity data, and patient behavior data. This makes it even easier for health care providers to find and access exactly what they are looking for.

The Way of the Future

No matter how you look at it, big data is the way of the future when it comes to the healthcare industry, and that is a win-win for doctors and patients alike.